A guest post by Anitra Jay

Anitra Jay Designer and SongwriterMy road to music started with graphic design. I was a PR major all set to make the world a better place when I first took my graphic design 101 class.  It was there I learned the essentials of Quark Xpress and Photoshop.  At that time Quark Xpress was the beez-knees. Ever since then, I was hooked on graphic design.  The thing that really drew me in about graphic design was seeing my creations being used in the real world. I designed newsletters, ads, brochures, logos, business cards, and so on. To think that my designs were being distributed around the country to people I didn’t even know just blew my mind.  Upon college graduation, I launched my own business as a freelance graphic designer.

I worked for universities, printers, entrepreneurs, and even a publishing company. It was so incredible yet nerve wrecking being my own boss. But being able to create and see people use the things I created powered me forward.

That was nearly 10 years ago. I’ve since evolved making strides within a new field of creation. Today, I’m a singer/songwriter. But the graphic design side of me didn’t go quietly into the night.  It reigns triumphant guiding my career to new levels.  Everything I knew about graphic design, I apply to songwriting and even my career.

Anitra Jay

There’s a simple creation process that exists whether you’re designing a logo or writing a song.  It all boils down to these three steps:

Brainstorming, Putting it all together, and Review/Critique

In the brainstorming phase, we want to know what feelings will this piece portray? What thoughts do we want to evoke? What is the complete story? We sketch and outline some initial ideas.

Putting ideas together

In the next phase we put those ideas together into one cohesive flow. We begin to tell the story. We’re looking to develop patterns, close in on a specific theme, and try to create something that’s both appealing and that makes sense to a particular audience.

Review what we have so far

The next step is to review what we have so far and perfect it to make it even better. We might switch out certain elements.  We might rearrange certain parts.  We might even scratch it all and start fresh with a new idea.  In this phase we review and critique until we arrive at our final masterpiece. Something we are very proud of.  Something we may one day share with the world.

That is what I do as a graphic designer and that is what I do everyday as a singer/songwriter.

Anitra Jay business cardsAnitra Jay, is a professional singer/songwriter based in Charlotte, NC USA and was surrounded by Jazz, Blues, and R&B as a child with Gospel at the helm of her influence. She began writing her own songs at an early age and soon after taught herself to play guitar. Inspired by a range of artists from Bill Withers to Erykah Badu, her music is a down-to-earth blend of soul and poetry. She combines soul-catching melodies with real life experiences that leave you inspired. For a free music download, check out her website at http://www.anitrajay.com or visit her on Facebook @ listn.to/anitrajaymusic.